Inter-Island Update | 10-08-2017
Recent news of the reinstatement of the rail link between Picton and Christchurch by KiwiRail has led us to issue this update on inter-island freight services.
We expect limited night services to commence at the end of August (with speed restrictions in place to address safety concerns). Limited wagon capacity has resulted in KiwiRail running an 'allocation ballot' for those wishing to secure rail participation.
Rail services as they existed pre-earthquake are unlikely to return. KiwiRail continues to release updates, but is looking to maximise their opportunities and position their business for the future.
We acknowledge their efforts in reinstating this link, as a welcome alternative which will alleviate some of the pressure on the Lewis Pass road alternative.
KiwiRail has announced increased rail pricing for the re-established services, and this effectively nullifies any opportunity to remove our current surcharge at this time. We now await KiwiRail’s direction on charges relating to the Inter-Island ferry services to understand the full impact of pricing changes.
We are continuing to work through these emerging pricing changes to determine future direction for our pricing and services.
We expect news to be released shortly regarding timeframes for the re-opening of State Highway 1 over the Kaikoura coastal route. It's our current understanding the road will open in some capacity early next year for the general public.
The road is likely to have restrictions imposed on heavy commercial traffic for some time. At this stage, we don't expect the road will be a viable option for heavy freight vehicles until later in 2018.
Coastal shipping links will be maintained as a critical business strategy should further disruption or the emergence of unpalatable pricing/services be a feature of the alternative channels.
If you require further information please contact your local branch.